Turkey: Business is a Personal Affair

September 29th, 2008 Alina

To round up our series of articles on Turkey, we are no exploring business etiquette after having provided some insight into marketing challenges and interesting sectors to do business in. Thinking of business as a personal matter will help you to better understand Turks, their strategies and their customs.

While very similar to European and North American business practices, Turkish etiquette comes with its very own Asian and Islamic flavors, making the whole business experience an interesting yet sometimes challenging process.

Istanbul University

Istanbul University

Building Relationships

The first thing you should forget about when coming to Turkey is extensive personal spaces. From the table settings in restaurants to the closeness people practice when talking, everything is a bit more intimate than foreigners are used to. You should try to adapt and see it more as friendliness and openness than prying into the other conversation.

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Posted in Business Etiquette, Culture | 1 Comment »

What’s so Interesting About Turkey?

September 24th, 2008 Alina

After reading about the challenges of marketing your business in Turkey, I am sure a lot of you wonder why try so hard on this new market? Believe me, the reasons are quite compelling. The Turkish market is quite attractive for a wide range of business fields and it has a strong position among the foreign markets.

Where’s Turkey on the European and World Business Maps?

Let’s start with Europe. Turkey is all of the following:

  • First TV manufacturer
  • First auto-car/bus manufacturer
  • First iron and steel producer
  • First automotive parts producer

I don’t know how tourism and services will rank after this year, but what I can tell you those planning to spend their vacation on the Turkish seaside start planning and making reservation this month for next year.
Globally, Turkish business accomplishments are as impressive:

  • Sixth cement producer
  • Second flat glass producer
  • Second jewelry exporter
  • Sixth clothing exporter

And when it comes to jewelry and cloths, I can tell from personal experience that the beauty, quality and price of these products will sweep you off your feet.

The Star of the Turkish Economy

From all of these attractive business fields, there is one who definitely stands out: IT&C. Adoption rate of everything tech by both home users and business customers is indeed impressive and it yields significant numbers and increases in market volume. Going from a total of USD 24 billion (a 14.8& increase compared to the previous year) in 2007 to an estimate of 26 billion this year, information technologies and communication technologies are where the focus of all foreign eyes goes. No wonder Cebit Bilisim Eurasia, organized in Istanbul, is one of the greatest IT&C events of the year from the whole Eurasia region.

If you need more reasons to find this field attractive, here are some more numbers:

  • Over 35% of increase per year in computer sales
  • Over 59 million GSM subscribers
  • Over 19 million internet users
  • 30 TV channels at the national level, 250 at the local level
  • E-Government in expansion

To be Successful, You’ll Need to Innovate

When it comes to marketing and doing business, Turkish companies and their representatives are no rookies. They’ve experimented it all. According to ClicZ magazine, an online magazinespecialized in digital marketing, Turkey is a mobile marketing innovator. Then again, with 59 million people to market to, it all seems a natural development. From local bank Finansbank to world renowned brand Pepsi, they’ve all experimented in this field.

And as we are dedicated to help you succeed in any market you’d choose, we’ll follow up on this article with tips and tricks regarding business etiquette in Turkey and more marketing advice.

*All data regarding the Turkish economy and industries is taken from a Cebit Bilisim presentation and has been updated in the first half of 2007

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International Business Through Language Partners

September 23rd, 2008 Amir

Many businesses use local partners to sell in different countries, offloading all foreign language work and sharing revenue. This is just what GdP Software is doing.

GdP Software sells WatchFTP, a Windows program for synchronizing files between a local PC and a remote server.

When WatchFTP was released it was available only in English. To increase sales they’re now offering it in German and are also working on a Spanish version.

Here is an interview I held with Gert Rijs, the founder.

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Posted in Affiliates, Business | No Comments »

4 Reasons Why You Should Avoid Marketing Abroad

September 19th, 2008 Amir

We always claim that marketing abroad is a good idea. However, some people should really avoid that.

1) You’ll meet less people

Yes, really. Imagine the income from your web business tripling. You could give up your job and live off your website.

Think of the people you meet every day – the receptionist, your boss and your co-workers. You’re not going to be seeing too much of them any more when you start working from home. Sure, you can still meet them from time to time, but not every day, 9 hours a day, right?

2) You’ll need much more patience for your wife and kids

This one is very serious. Do you think you can handle spending hours every day with your kids? When was the last time you spent 2 hours with a toddler? They like to play, sing and paint – when was the last time you did any of that?

And, on sunny days, they’ll probably expect you to go to the park. Are you sure you’re up to that? After all those years of staying in the safe and familiar environment of your office, can you handle the outside world?

Last but not least, think about your wife. Yes, have a quick look at that photo on your desk – that’s the one. She might want to spend some time with you too…

3) Managing is tough work, much harder than taking orders

When you’re the boss of your own business, it means you’re going from development to management. At least on a part time basis.

Right now, you’ve got you boss taking care of your schedule and making sure you stay on track. When you become your boss, you’ll have others to manage and no one to blame.

It’s a big responsibility. Think about it!

4) You might need to listen to foreign languages

This is a real issue for many people. When your business makes it abroad, you’ll probably find yourself going more on vacation. Going to Florida is one thing, but if your wife insists on traveling to Venice, Paris or even Japan it’s a completely new ball game.

Starting from your hotel room and ending with waiters in restaurants, they might know some English, but you’ll have to cope with a lot of phrases in foreign language. It gets tiering, spending the whole day sight seeing, just to hear French again in the evening.

It’s irreversible, so better be sure

You should know that once you and your family gets used to a new lifestyle, going back to an office job is almost impossible. Think about the consequences and ask yourself – “am I cut out for this?

If you’re not sure, better wait. For most people the sudden urge to become independent and successful quickly dies off and they adjust back to their jobs. Just in case, if you’re really really sure you can handle it, best to start going global today.

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Outsourcing Drupal Translation

September 17th, 2008 Amir

ICanLocalize is getting ready for full integration with Drupal, which will offer a solution for outsourcing all translation work for Drupal websites.

Updates

  1. the ICanLocalize Translator Drupal module is now available. Read the updated post or go to the getting started guide.
  2. Drupal Translation is our official guide for building multilingual Drupal sites. It teaches how to setup the Drupal’s i18n module and ICanLocalize Translator.

Drupal, a leading Content Management System, includes comprehensive support for running multi-lingual website. Multi-lingual support recently moved from being a component to Drupal core, making it a standard feature for any Drupal 6 install.

ICanLocalize is working on a solution that will allow complete offload of all language related work, so that writers and editors can concentrate on maintaining contents in their language, while other languages follow. This will include:

  • Translation for node contents.
  • Translation for blog entries.
  • Comment moderation.
  • Rapid translation for visitor contacts.
  • Translation for texts in themes.

Support for these functions will be available from within the Drupal interface via a module which ICanLocalize is now working on. The module will send new and updated contents to ICanLocalize, where it is translated by professional human translators and then gets posted back to the Drupal system.

This will allow running a multi-lingual website, based on Drupal, without hiring translators, without granting access to their CMS and with no fixed costs.

Costs are further reduced using ICanLocalize‘s translation system, which is being used for all website translation work. This system lets translators do website translation without spending time on any technical task. Cost for professional human translation is between 0.05USD to 0.09USD per word, depending on language pairs. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in CMS, Drupal | 1 Comment »

Marketing Challenges: Turkey

September 16th, 2008 Alina

Are you by any chance thinking of expanding your business and conquering the Turkish market? Good choice, indeed! The economy is growing, they have strong companies, which translates into great business partners and they are implementing all modern technologies at a fast rate. To support the business growth, they are working on a great infrastructure: from building roads to making the visa process easy and to adapting to all potential customers or partners (learning new languages, keeping themselves informed, organizing huge industry events).

There are a few challenges however. Strong competition is the most important one, the local companies’ great skills to adapt to what customers demand, their drive to stay connected with what they need and a long tradition of trading, negotiating and offering high class services only add to the list.

Istanbul Shops

Istanbul Shops

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Posted in Business, Culture | 4 Comments »